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Seated Female Semi-Nude in Patterned Dress, Her Head Resting on Her Right Knee, 1910

Leopold Museum,
Pencil, blue and orange crayon on Japanese paper
56×37 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Alice Strobl linked this unusual motif by Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) of a seated nude with her head resting on her knee with the mourning female protagonist from the group symbolizing life in the artist’s painting Death and Life. While Klimt chose this posture in the painting to express the figure’s melancholy mood, he used it in this drawing exclusively for erotic effect, seeing as the spread legs afford beholders a voyeuristic view of the woman’s genitals. The elaborate pattern of the dress, rendered using orange and blue crayon, highlights the artist’s intention to draw attention to this part of the body. Klimt exhibited a large number of similar erotic drawings in 1910 at the art salon Miethke and was reproached for producing pornography. The detailed strokes and use of color through crayons, as well as the balanced composition, make the drawing appear like a pictorial, autonomous work of art.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Seated Female Semi-Nude in Patterned Dress, Her Head Resting on Her Right Knee
Art movement
Art Nouveau, Symbolism
Graphic work
Pencil, blue and orange crayon on Japanese paper
56×37 cm
Estate stamp (black) lower left: GUSTAV KLIMT NACHLASS
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1290
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Linie und Form. 100 Meisterzeichnungen aus der Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Franz Smola/Fritz Koreny, Wien 2014 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.05.2014–20.10.2014).
  • Gustav Klimt. Die Sammlung im Leopold Museum, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Elisabeth Leopold, Ostfildern 2013 (Bestandskatalog des Leopold Museum: Band 1).
  • Klimt persönlich. Bilder - Briefe - Einblicke, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Franz Smola, Wien 2012 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 24.02.2012–27.08.2012).
  • Alice Strobl: Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen 1904-1912, Salzburg 1982.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Strobl Bd. 2/1982: 1947

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Gustav Klimt, Wien (1918); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1982-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Nachlassstempel »GUSTAV / KLIMT / NACHLASS« vorne links unten
  2. Alice Strobl, Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen 1904-1912, Salzburg 1982, Nr. 1947

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